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Topic: My first problem with the receipt of my book . . . .

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Subject: My first problem with the receipt of my book . . . .
Date Posted: 12/27/2007 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2006
Posts: 10,460
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I shipped out a book that was in really good shape.  Wrapped in plastic bag (for water); wrapped in brown mailing paper (as I do all my shipments).  And I received the following today:

The wrapping was not tight enough and got ripped. So the binding spilt in half:(

I offered the credit back; but do I have the right to get the book back too?  I'm really finding it hard to believe that this book split.  I wrap all my books the same and this is the first time in a year that this has happened.  It was a book that was in really good shape too. 

Has this happened to anyone else?

Thanks Irene

Date Posted: 12/27/2007 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2006
Posts: 3,343
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You can ask for the requestor to send the book back,  but you need to pay postage, and they need to agree to do so.

Date Posted: 12/27/2007 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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Lynn's right about paying postage, or offering a credit to get it mailed back to you.  It does sound to me as though your wrapping was sufficient.  Maybe they'd be willing to send you a photo of the damaged book. 

Date Posted: 12/27/2007 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Here's what I've found with that brown mailing paper...(not saying this was the case here, but just what I've noticed in books I've received)...if you don't wrap the entire thing in tape, the brown paper will tear.  I've gotten two or three books wrapped in brown paper that have shown up with the paper ripped.  Not usually enough to damage the book (especially if you also used plastic wrap), but I'm thinking you may want to use sturdier paper or more tape next time.

Now, on to your question.  Of course you can ask for the book back, and I wouldn't blame you for doing so.  However, be prepared for the person to say no or to ask you to pay the postage.  And I wouldn't blame him/her for doing so, it's not his/her fault.

Date Posted: 12/27/2007 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Some books have a nightmare journey.  I recently had one returned to me that had black marks on it .. simlilar to what I imagine it would look like if it had been run over by a car.  Since the "send to" address was blacked by the tire, only my address was visible and they sent it back to me first class.  It is possible the book you sent had a simliar experience.  I get books wrapped in printer paper and brown paper all the time.... and though they often have a slit along an edge, the books have been in great shape.  Some books just seems to go via the postal route of the Samsonite Gorilla and some don't live to tell the tale.

Date Posted: 12/27/2007 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2006
Posts: 10,460
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I did offer her credit back because I don't know what happened.  We'll see if she accepts that. Maybe then I'll see if she'll ship the book back to me.

 And I do agree with the brown paper.  I put tape on all the edges and round and round!  I go through three or four rolls of tape for every roll of brown paper!  I have noticed different qualities of tape too.  The last one I was using "duck tape" regular packing tape wasn't nearly as sticky as the Scotch brand I have now.

Just frustrated about it this morning.  Thanks for all your responses and help.

Have a great day!

PS:  Another person just received one of my books and said what a nice book!  Just adds to my frustration.  Maybe the post office was rougher with the other book!  LOL

ETA:  Lita - Some books just seems to go via the postal route of the Samsonite Gorilla and some don't live to tell the tale.

That's too funny!  I guess that may have happened!


Last Edited on: 12/27/07 12:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/27/2007 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,371
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I've found that when a package arrives in my mail slot ripped, often it is because the wrapper (or envelope) isn't tight enough.  I think the postal sorting machines somehow grab the loose wrapping, and the package gets mauled.  And I've received packages that look as if they've been run over multiple times by a truck, too.  One or two survived anyway, but those had all edges and seams taped for reinforcement.

And a loose wrapper can actually allow damage to the binding.  Picture your package on the bottom of the truck, and several heavy packages on top of it, shifting as the truck takes the turns.  As the load shifts, the bottom of your package tends to try to stay where it is, while the top moves back and forth, sometimes cracking the binding.  Tight packaging and tape on all edges works a bit like a packing box, making the package into a solid "brick."

The nice thing here is that you're dealing with an experienced person who knows that this kind of damage can occur in shipping.  She's not assuming that you mailed out an unpostable book.  (Can you picture that conversation???) And the nice thing for her is that she's dealing with You (!!!) and that you're both being very polite & respectful, and you returned her credit right away.  It's a disappointment when you send out a beautiful book and it arrives damaged, but kudos to you for the way you dealt with it.  We're fortunate to have you both here as members!

Here is what the Help Center says about books damaged by USPS:


If your book was marked as "Damaged by USPS"
  • This means the book was damaged en route by USPS.
    • USPS has a superb record of delivering packages intact, but accidents do happen. If the package was wrapped properly and this was just bad luck, then you do not need to refund the credit.
    • If the method with which the book was wrapped could have contributed to its damage en route, you should read here for guidance in wrapping a book. The main points are: use plenty of tape (2-inch shipping tape, not Scotch), especially to reinforce corners and seams, and make sure that your shipment is completely enclosed within the packaging (there should be no portion of the book(s) inside exposed).
    • If your book was damaged en route due to poor packaging, you should refund the credit."

And you can ask her to mail the book back to you -- as Lisa said, it's her choice whether to do so or not -- but you should offer either another credit, or to pay the postage. 


Date Posted: 12/27/2007 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/2/2006
Posts: 83
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Maybe ask for a picture??


Date Posted: 12/27/2007 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I got 2 books w/the wrapper barely hanging on today. Both came from the South to me in the Pacific NW.  On one book there was thick packing tape directly on the book.  You could see where the wrapper had torn so I'm thinking a postal employee taped it up somewhere along the line. I felt like a surgeon trying to get the book out. But luckily both books survided their journey. Not sure what to tell you about your book. It's possible that the book got "cleaved" in transit.  If so it's really no one's fault.  Very nice of you to give the credit back.  I got a book one time that came in a clear plastic bag from the USPO and what looked like red wine spilled on it.  There was a letter from the PO saying it was damaged in transit.  I didn't ask for a credit back though. It wasn't the senders fault. 

Date Posted: 12/28/2007 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 1,837
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I've received several books in brown paper that ripped open in transit.  I've been very lucky that only a couple of them were damaged because of it.  Not sure why the brown paper seems to fare worse than even plain ole white bond paper, but it happens on the ones coming to me fairly regularly.